I should have written this last night, but I was, like you, preoccupied by the Wayne County Board of Canvassers, who took what should have been a routine meeting to discuss the election, and then a unanimous vote to certify it, turned into an hours-long shitshow.
It’s pretty clear what their game is: Yell CHEATERS CHEATERS FRAUD FRAUD FRAUD until they run out the clock. It’s maddening, but this is what the GOP has been reduced to by propaganda and insanity. It’s a really dark time. They’re knocking out an essential support post of democracy, i.e. faith in fair elections. Once lost, it won’t be easily restored.
I wrote a column today, but think I won’t submit it to my editor; it just feels like too much. Should I paste it here instead? OK, here you go:
There is a phrase in politics to describe people who are loyal to the cause, who can be counted on to spread propaganda, parrot party lines and talking points and otherwise yay-team through every election cycle without requiring too much care and feeding: Useful idiots.
Some say the phrase originated with Vladimir Lenin, although that’s unsubstantiated. I thought of it Tuesday night, watching the slow-motion disaster of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers take down my fellow Grosse Pointe Woods resident, Monica Palmer. A mudslide of outrage gathered in the moments following her vote, and that of her fellow Republican on the board, Bill Hartmann, to not certify the county election, as canvassers nearly always do. The vote put the board in deadlock and for a few hours threatened the wrapup of the November election.
Their concern is that nearly three-quarters of Wayne County precincts were “out of balance,” i.e., that the voters recorded did not match the votes cast. The same problem was discovered in the August primary, and they asked Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to do something about it.
Early Tuesday morning, GOP consultant Stu Sandler tweeted disapprovingly that Benson had failed to do so. To continue the mudslide metaphor, this was a rumble from higher up the mountain, in the midst of a drenching rainstorm. If this was a movie, the birds would have all taken off from their perches, and deer and rabbits would have bounded away. Palmer and Hartmann marched on, and when, hours later, they used these imbalances as part of the justification to vote against certification, the debris began to tumble down the mountain.
As most people know, the vote was reversed after a few hours of unrelenting outrage, delivered by Zoom to the board (which could only have made it that much worse). But almost as soon as the first vote was taken, Michigan GOP chair Laura Cox issued a press release she’d obviously had ready to go, suggesting the vote was expected.
It’s hard to know what the play was here. Every element of it seemed to be so ham-fisted, so clueless, so…Trumpian, it’s hard to get your head around. The fact the two GOP board members were white and suburban, the two Dems Black Detroiters. The way Palmer said she’d certify the non-Detroit parts of Wayne County, even though many of those suburban communities had similar problems, but not Detroit. The way Palmer’s husband, Richard Shetler, immediately posted on his own Facebook news of the board’s vote, adding, “Huge win for #realDonaldTrump!” (He has since deleted it.)
All I could think was, Girl, Stu Sandler and Laura Cox loaded you into a cannon and fired you into the sun. Do you see that now?
Because it was Palmer and Hartmann, and not Sandler and Cox, who were singled out for punishment, including at least three outraged op-ed pieces published Wednesday by respected writers, with probably more in the works. The social media was far ruder, and Palmer, who physically resembles something of an ur-Karen, took the worst of it, because women always do. She was repeatedly called a racist, a vote-grabber, a disenfranchiser, one who would strip the hard-won power of the ballot from a city she doesn’t live in, and a racist a few hundred more times, and over what? One-half of one percent of the total votes cast in the city of Detroit, for errors that anyone who has worked an election knows are commonplace and entirely forgivable.
I suspect she’ll learn soon that charges of racism will follow her for a while – weeks, months, maybe years. She’s already facing an ethics complaint in connection with her activism in the Grosse Pointe school board race. Her husband has been rumored for years to have his eye on the mayor’s seat in the Woods. Hard to win votes door-knocking in an increasingly diverse suburb, once your face has been plastered on national newscasts as the smiling white face of attempted Black voter disenfranchisement, and in service to a soundly defeated president, as well.
I asked someone with far more experience in Wayne County politics what his assessment of this debacle was. “Amateurs trying to play in the big leagues,” he sniffed. Lenin, it is said, had his own description.
And that’s it for me today. Let’s hope the week improves, OK?
Sherri said on November 18, 2020 at 9:40 pm
Republicans complain about being called racist, but they won’t stop doing obvious, egregious racist things.
But that’s not who they are, in their shriveled up little Grinch hearts. Their mirrors show them that they are the fairest people in the land.
alex said on November 18, 2020 at 10:06 pm
I think your useful idiots column is awesome and you’ve probably just spent so much time absorbed in it that you’re sick of it, but you told a great story, and as a non-Detroiter and non-Michigander, I found it more illuminating than anything I’ve read in the Washington Post or elsewhere.
The second sentence here needs a tweak (is it missing a word?):
Because it was Palmer and Hartmann, and not Sandler and Cox, who were singled out for punishment. At least three outraged op-ed pieces by respected writers, with probably more in the works.
Anyway, look at it fresh in the morning and reconsider. I’d say it’s the best thing I’ve read about it all day.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 18, 2020 at 10:12 pm
I believe you were looking for this illustration for the piece:
Mark P said on November 18, 2020 at 10:53 pm
They’re eating each other. I was left speechless when our Republican Secretary of State, an avowed Trump supporter, actually stood up to the Trumpist attacks on him for not ensuring that Trump won in Georgia. As I commented earlier, he and his family have received death threats. Lincoln said a house divided against itself cannot stand. He also said, “I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”
These people are fucking crazy, and I don’t want to be one of them.
Jason T. said on November 18, 2020 at 11:29 pm
I honestly don’t know where we go from here.
As a country, we’ve walked up to the edge of the cliff and we can feel the ground crumbling and giving way, and instead of pulling back, a bunch of us are jumping up and down.
I think big multinational corporations would like to see the United States fail, or at least humbled — after all, if they can keep the world’s largest governments “small enough to drown in a bathtub,” they can do whatever they want.
For the last 40 years, venture capitalists have been buying up companies and stripping them down for parts. (You know, to “unlock shareholder value.”) I think they’re about to do the same thing to the U.S.A., with the help of conservative Christians who are hoping they can stand around and pick up the pieces.
Jason T. said on November 18, 2020 at 11:30 pm
For an outside perspective, I heartily recommend this interview from the Australian Broadcasting Co. with Nick Bryant, the BBC’s New York correspondent. He’s written a book called “When America Stopped Being Great.”
Bryant has covered the collapse of other nations. He thinks we’re well along that path now:
What happened to the USA?
Mark P said on November 18, 2020 at 11:53 pm
It’s the Constitution that’s killing the US. It will take cataclysmic events for the US to change its course. We need partition.
Jason T. said on November 19, 2020 at 12:03 am
Any constitution or book of laws is only as good as the people who uphold it. Otherwise, they’re just collections of words on paper.
Laws become meaningless when they’re selectively enforced, which is where we’re at now. As someone said, Mitch McConnell will be someday seen as the gravedigger of American democracy. But the entire Republican party has helped him shovel.
Jakash said on November 19, 2020 at 12:40 am
I agree with Alex. Though I haven’t read as much elsewhere as he has, that’s an informative and concise delineation of what went down Tuesday, featuring swell local insight. With a fine exit-line to wrap it up.
Sherri said on November 19, 2020 at 12:42 am
Palmer and Hartman have now filed affidavits saying they want to rescind their votes to certify the Wayne County election results, that they were “bullied” into certifying.
beb said on November 19, 2020 at 2:42 am
As usual, Nancy, your summary of the board of canvassers is both pithy and balanced.
My hobby is magazine fiction in the first half of the 20th century. Some phrases always jar me because I can’t believe that didn’t think it was racist, or were comfortable using because it was racist. One of them is “That’s white of you…” meaning generous, forgiving, a hale fellow well met.
To an extent me need to muzzle Fox News, Limbaugh, Breitbarts and OAN by re-instituting the Fairness Doctrine in radio and TV. They’ve created the bubble the right live in and have driven them insane. But also something needs to be done with Facebook, Twitter and Google Search, all of which push traffic but recommending ever more extreme search results. I don’t know what we can do about Facebook. Maybe make it an ad-free subscription only platform, ban collecting information about members or the tracking of their browsing habits. Something that would make it useless to push propaganda on. And of course we need to prosecute all the people who have obstructed full, free and fair election, from the Postmaster General on down.
Dexter Friend said on November 19, 2020 at 3:54 am
I just watched Chris Hayes sum up the Wayne County debacle in about 100 words. Nance provided the meat here so we now know just what the hell happened.
Taking a chance, I donned night-time camouflage and sneakily walked Pogo on the sidewalk. See, we are under a DeWine-ordered curfew. Nobody else was out, not even the creepy creeping neighbor with his companion, his high-beam flashlight. 10 to 6. That’s our probation-like curfew. It doesn’t affect me in the least. I want the vaccine to get here. I will stay alert and as soon as possible get that first shot. I am counting on the V.A. The nurse for my doc at the Toledo V.A. called early Wednesday to inform me of a medicine tweak, and told me Toledo is getting overwhelmed as badly as most all cities. She said she has had 12 people in her immediate and extended family test positive, with three hospitalized, 2 of those severely ill.
On the plus side, Carla Lee complained about the bad food to a social worker who keeps atop all the billing procedures, and the food improved immediately. And Lori, still in that Las Vegas hospital, was told the infection was cleared up. She still needs to get her digestive system in order.
Trump appointed 5 federal judges on Wednesday, ages from like 41 to 33. The 33 year old woman was reviewed by the Bar Association or whatever the name is, and received an “unqualified” rating. So Trump appoints her to this lifetime judgeship. She is a hardcore Christian, saying she serves only God, is a vessel for his plan…something like that anyway, the standard line. Trump must have said that is good enough for him, and bingo, it’s all yours, dearie. Trump is a good Bible-reading Christian as well, he just reads it upside down. At least at SCOTUS , Coney proclaimed she would review cases and determine actions by law.
Suzanne said on November 19, 2020 at 6:34 am
Best summation of the current GOP is this quote I ran across recently:
“Gaslight someone and they’ll serve for a day. Teach them to gaslight themselves and they’ll serve forever.”
Republicans have earned PhDs in gaslighting themselves. Nobody does it better.
This is another depressing thread by a healthcare provider witnessing the effects of the prolife crowd’s politics in reality.
ROGirl said on November 19, 2020 at 8:22 am
My last job was with a company that was unlike any I had worked for previously. Same industry, but functionally out there. I came to think of it as bizarro world. Chaos, dumb decisions, no decisions, excuses, spin, finger pointing, bullying. I was there for the paycheck and it was damaging me. Luckily my work situation has improved, but we are all living in bizarro world.
Suzanne said on November 19, 2020 at 9:26 am
I stopped in at the local Dollar General this morning before work when it isn’t crowded and had to listen to the store manager discuss with another man how the COVID data is all being faked, they are simply trying to frighten everyone, etc. etc. “If someone dies in a car accident, the doctors say they died of COVID! That’s what is happening!”
Another friend, very well educated to boot, told me the reason COVID death stats in the US are so much higher than the rest of the world is because all those other countries are presenting false data.
Truly, I freaking give up.
Bitter Scribe said on November 19, 2020 at 9:37 am
Those two idiots blundered into the worst of all possible outcomes. They were always going to get death threats etc. from MAGAts even if they did a routine vote to certify. Now, by screwing around like that, they’ve managed to attract exponentially more hostile and potentially violent attention, from both sides. Well done.
Suzanne @15: The other day the woman cutting my hair insisted that her brother died of cancer but was listed as having died from COVID. I didn’t feel like arguing with someone who had just lost a close relative like that, but sheesh.
The next few months are going to suck.
Julie Robinson said on November 19, 2020 at 9:40 am
Suzanne, aieeeee. We have a few family members who promote ideas like this, and all of a sudden I’m not sorry we aren’t having Thanksgiving dinner together.
I’d wager that no one’s signature matched records where we voted. We had to sign with our index finger, on an iPad, while wearing a huge plastic glove. So I guess the Repubs, a la Lindsey Graham, would throw out all those votes? Funnily enough, most of this county votes R.
Alan Stamm said on November 19, 2020 at 10:02 am
Not too much at all. Should have submitted it.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 19, 2020 at 10:40 am
Bitter, the sad irony is that almost never is cancer the stated reason for death. Cancer makes it possible for many other things to kill us, but she’s wrong twice over.
What I can’t get over is the number of seemingly rational people saying thinly veiled versions to me of “old people die, get over it.”
Bitter Scribe said on November 19, 2020 at 10:46 am
Now the two GOP idiots on the Wayne County canvassing board are trying to take back their votes to certify. They signed affidavits saying they were intimidated by people yelling at them on the phone, or something.
For Christ’s sake, just leave it alone. You’re only making it worse for yourselves.
Dave said on November 19, 2020 at 11:05 am
Dexter at 12, the local news also reports that the new federal judge admires Clarence Thomas. What gets me is that the majority of these senators are not going to live for years in the country they are actively destroying and I don’t think destroying is too strong of a word. I didn’t realize until he got sick that Grassley of Iowa is 87 but then, I didn’t think of Dianne Feinstein as being even older.
Dexter, I think of you everyday, 2020, as awful as it has been, has been even worse for you, more than anyone else I know, even though it’s only through this and Facebook that I know you.
Unrelated to any of the conversation here but the other day, The Washington Post came up and my subscription was running out in two days. I was just able to renew it for one year for $75. I suppose I could have played the game and gotten it cheaper but that’s only $15 more than I paid for it for the first year.
Deborah said on November 19, 2020 at 11:11 am
I agree with others who have commented that your story, Nancy, is the most informative about the situation I’ve read so far. Nothing beats a local angle, the fact that the racist lunatic lives in your community and you can fill in some facts about her husband too, is priceless.
I’m suffering from side effects from the IV infusion I had yesterday. They warned me to expect body aches and boy do I have them. It could last 3 to 5 days. Not fun. I’m laying low today, although I do have a haircut appointment this afternoon, my last one for a while due to Covid spikes.
Lordy, New Mexico is getting hit hard. Many stores like Target and WalMart are having to shut down there for 2 weeks because of so many sick workers.
FDChief said on November 19, 2020 at 11:12 am
The GOP elephant in the room is simply this: about a third of the US public is crazier than a shithouse rat and deeper into the nonsensical woo than the most looney cultist stepping up to the cauldron of Flav-r-ade.
Which is not to let the other third – the ones who couldn’t be arsed to get out and vote for ANYone in the most consequential Presidential election in about the last 80 years of US history – off the hook. They could just about give two shits about this whole “rule of law” and “republic” thingie so long as they get their supersized bag of Cool Ranch Doritos over to the couch before “The Masked Singer” comes on.
The bulk of We the People are somewhere between a third “utterly worthless” and the other third “shoot on sight, like a rabid weasel”.
The worthless ones have always been with us, and there’s nothing we can do about them except try and work around them.
But Republicans? They’re an active menace, and need to be treated as such. I recommend a bounty, like we have in the western states on coyotes. Maybe ten bucks for just the scalp, or twenty for the whole pelt since they’re so greasy and hard to clean.
FDChief said on November 19, 2020 at 11:12 am
linda said on November 19, 2020 at 11:47 am
It’s an ill wind that blows no good. Even in wrecking everything Trump manages to torch his own side. Which doesn’t matter to him at all because what are peasants for but to serve him:
Jeff Borden said on November 19, 2020 at 11:57 am
In other news, while the death toll hits a quarter-million Americans, infection rates are out of control in the Midwest, the economy is teetering on the brink and a dark winter approaches, Moscow Mitch and his GOP Senate brigands are stocking as many federal offices as possible with hard-right appointees, who will do everything in their power to thwart whatever efforts President Biden makes.
Our government is broken. Forty years after St. Ronald of Reagan made the mantra “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” a curse, the Republicans have succeeded in eradicating any respect for our institutions among rank and file Americans. I see no viable path to restoring trust in the near future, but we’d better start teaching civics classes again so that citizens understand freedom comes with responsibility. Maybe in a generation or two –if we last that long– there will be a recognition of the importance of governance.
But probably not.
Jakash said on November 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm
“If someone dies in a car accident, the doctors say they died of COVID! That’s what is happening!” Suzanne, it must be so rewarding to live in “real America” these days! I feel for you.
The problem with that theory, which is insurmountable, is that dead bodies actually exist, unlike Hunter Biden’s mysterious laptops and the evidence for all manner of other right-wing shibboleths. People aren’t being murdered by doctors to prop up the Covid stats, but there *are* more bodies. And the likelihood that they’re all coming from car accidents, given that people have traveled much less than usual this year, is nonexistent.
“In case you’re wondering, based on the CDC’s raw weekly data, the U.S. is on pace to record approximately 235,000 more deaths this year than in 2019. The number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. currently stands at around 247,000.”
David C said on November 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm
Losey Loserton is summoning the head of the Michigan House and Senate to the White House. Somehow I think the BS is going to continue. Oh, and the terrorist planning on kidnapping Gov. Whitmer had a plan B.
Deborah said on November 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Seeing Rudy sweating bullets today in that press conference was gross. I didn’t watch it live, but saw short clips of brown streams of sweat running down the side of his face. Not sure if it was hair dye or what?
Heather said on November 19, 2020 at 1:32 pm
I’ve been relatively calm about this attempted coup, but Dear Leader summoning the Wayne County racists to the WH is scaring me. And no one will do anything about this sedition. It’s up to us–but what does that look like? Half the country is not going to accept T as president even if doesn’t leave. It’s frightening to think about.
Julie Robinson said on November 19, 2020 at 1:33 pm
Rudy has taken up spray tanning just like his boss. Look at the difference between his face and hands. He’s doing his hair too, so who knows. As if anything would make him attractive.
Jakash said on November 19, 2020 at 2:03 pm
Can I relocate to whichever alternate universe this speech has actually been delivered in?
“The concession speech we all deserve…”
susan said on November 19, 2020 at 2:39 pm
Rudy, sweating $h!†.
Scout said on November 19, 2020 at 4:02 pm
I honestly don’t even care if the US remains THE world super power, but I do care that our government is actively killing us. We need the beatings to stop or morale will never improve. Sometimes I think our only hope is that Moscow Mitch is as close to death’s door as he looks.
Adding my vote that this excellent piece be submitted to your editor, Nancy. I’ve read a whole lot of reporting on this event and yours was by far the best.
Julie Robinson said on November 19, 2020 at 4:11 pm
susan, that’s right up there with Pence’s fly.
beb said on November 19, 2020 at 4:16 pm
There have always been people who believed in the craziest damn stuff but usually they spoke sotto voce so they were easy to ignore. Now they are saying the quiet stuff out loud and it’s frightening to realize how many of them there are. I didn’t see how we can ever resume normal behavior.
Mark P said on November 19, 2020 at 4:20 pm
Susan, I wish you hadn’t posted that link. I wish I hadn’t followed it.
Dorothy said on November 19, 2020 at 4:36 pm
Bitter Scribe @16 – you’re nicer than I am. I would have quietly but firmly asked that hairdresser if she has a medical degree and if she’d ever taken part in an autopsy. Sometimes you can lead someone to a conclusion with not much more than a few questions. I don’t cotton to people saying bullshit things. I call them on it. I don’t care if it gets me punched in the nose (hasn’t happened yet but the year is not over yet). Months ago when I was taking my dog to the vet for a visit, and the owners had to stay in the parking lot while the vet looked at the pups, some guy started with that nonsense about “more people die from the flu in a year than this virus!” I immediately said “You are completely wrong. Look it up when you get home – the virus isn’t even here a year yet and we’re losing people by much larger margins. Please don’t spread that kind of misinformation around. It’s irresponsible.” He shut up immediately, and another couple in the parking lot nodded at me and smiled but didn’t say anything. I don’t mean to be patting myself on the back but honestly – we just have to push back when we can. In person is better than online.
Sherri said on November 19, 2020 at 4:46 pm
“Specifically, Antifa from Grosse Pointe”
Nancy, have you been holding out on us?
Bitter Scribe said on November 19, 2020 at 6:03 pm
This may or may not be any consolation to anyone, but history tells us that there have always been conspiracy nuts in this country. How do you think Joe McCarthy got so far? It was because there were already lots of people who already believed that the federal government was controlled by commies, and gosh, here’s a U.S. Senator confirming it!
As James Thurber said, “You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.”
Jakash said on November 19, 2020 at 7:27 pm
I’m with you, Mark @ 37. I hesitated, but went ahead and clicked on the link. Saw the still image and backed out as quickly as I could. I don’t know what I was thinking; everyday Rudy is gross enough as it is…
LAMary said on November 19, 2020 at 8:04 pm
I totally read the wrong meaning into “Pence’s fly.” I wondered how I had possibly missed something that embarassing.
I’m not working in a hospital anymore but I do deal with health related recruiting all day every day. All of the jobs I’m working on filling are Covid related. When I hear or read crap misinformation I jump in hard. So much of is it insulting to the healthcare workers who are just about falling apart at this point. If I read one more time that doctors are putting covid as the cause of death for non covid cases because they get a bonus for caring for covid patients my head might explode.
Sherri said on November 20, 2020 at 1:30 am
Those very Catholic, very pro life Supreme Court Justices Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Kavanaugh, and Barrett joined with the raised Catholic pro life Gorsuch to deny a stay of execution, allowing the execution of Orlando Hall to move forward.
Mr. Hall’s life is not one they’re pro. Only fetuses and corporations have lifes worth saving.
Dexter Friend said on November 20, 2020 at 3:04 am
Dave, thanks for the kind words. The 33 year old new Trumpian federal judge actually clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas.
I was surprised, as since the 10:00 PM curfew, only a few vehicles have been on the street here. I walked Pogo twice since 10P and saw no one walking around, no one driving, and no mufflerless vehicles senselessly idling.
I found a romance/drama on Prime that did not require a rental fee, Cafe Society, a Woody Allen project from 2016. It was a nice break from some really crappy movies I have discovered lately. I love Woody’s movie scores. He has always picked my fave old-timey classic ballads and jazzy band tunes. I recommend it.
Carla Lee has a strong constitution. She has been quarantining in a bed in a room she cannot leave for 2 weeks, one week done now. If her stay is extended there after another week, she will at least be able to slide into her wheelchair and roll out into the spacious common room and look out a window.
JodiP said on November 20, 2020 at 9:47 am
Oh, Dexter, Carla is indeed strong! Please send her my best wishes and that I wish I could make a hotdish for her!
In other news, things are progressing nicely with our new family member! We had an hour-long video visit with the foster mom last night, and she is bringing Greta the hound to our house on Wednesday!
Deborah said on November 20, 2020 at 10:49 am
Yes, Dexter, what JodiP said. I was impressed when you told us that Carla complained about the “slop” they were serving for meals and things got better after that. Way to stick up for yourself, even when you’re down.
Today my body ache side effect from my IV procedure the other day is better but I still have the headache that hurts every time I move my eyes. They recommended Tylenol but that hasn’t helped at all. I’m rethinking this solution to osteoporosis, maybe I’ll try the shot every 6 months next year instead of the once a year IV. I’ve been miserable, never had side effect problems like this from any medication before.
Julie Robinson said on November 20, 2020 at 11:06 am
Carla Lee is strong, and Greta is adorable. Her size reminds me a bit of the greyhounds some friends adopted, and they’ve all been blissfully happy together. Hope it works out for you the same way.
Deborah, how miserable. I think my mom takes the once a month pills without any side effects. I haven’t been tested yet for osteoporosis, because my insurance won’t pay for it until I’m 65. Since I have the sturdy peasant build of my father and not the delicate bird bones of my mother I’ll wait. No broken bones in my history either.
I’m about to turn off the news and just enjoy the weekend.
Mark P said on November 20, 2020 at 12:54 pm
Greta is gone from the web site. I guess they removed her photo when she got adopted?
beb said on November 20, 2020 at 3:34 pm
Lately I’ve been reading Wonkette.com which has cheered my immensely. Their sassy brand of sarcasm is a delight because they’re saying out loud the thoughts I’ve been thinking.
Deborah said on November 20, 2020 at 4:57 pm
This is good and scary https://medium.com/indica/i-lived-through-a-coup-america-is-having-one-now-437934b1dac3
Mark P said on November 20, 2020 at 5:10 pm
Deborah, I’m afraid he has called it. The stupid media treated Trump as if he were business as usual and not a catastrophe in waiting. And, yes, our democracy is shitty and immature. And the Republicans are desperately trying to bring it down. And as I write this, Georgia’s governor is stirring Trump’s supporters up and subverting confidence in the election process. Bastard.
Kim said on November 20, 2020 at 6:27 pm
The grossest yet funniest thing I saw on Twitter yesterday was a still of Rudy’s Just for Men fail/hair melt and the caption “Democracy dyes in darkness.”
Dorothy, your daughter probably enjoyed that one, too.
Nicely done, Nancy, on the column.
LAMary said on November 20, 2020 at 6:51 pm
Awww. Trumpy Jr. tested positive. Apparently he tested positive on Monday but has been hiding out (quarantining) at home. How ever could he have caught it?
David C said on November 20, 2020 at 6:56 pm
Has any prominent Democrat caught the virus? I don’t remember any. Maybe there’s something to this listening to doctors and scientists.
Sherri said on November 20, 2020 at 7:02 pm
Farhad Manjoo is a tech reporter at the NYTimes. He has two kids, and was agonizing over Thanksgiving and whether to travel to see his aging parents.
So he determined the real size of his COVID bubble, and was shocked to discover it was over 100 people and included a doctor who sees patients in person. I’m shocked that a tech reporter who has his kids in a learning pod (and one of his kids in a gymnastics class) is shocked by this.
But after doing this exercise, he then decides, oh well, can’t live in fear, can you, and is planning to go to his parents for Thanksgiving!!! Multiply that decision by thousands, and Christmas looks brutal.
Dorothy said on November 20, 2020 at 7:34 pm
David C I was just thinking the same thing! Wish the media would pick up on that theme – so many Republican senators and congressman have caught it. I’m willing to bet at a rate of at least 3:1, Repubs vs Dems.
David C said on November 20, 2020 at 8:35 pm
This needs to be encouraged. On Parler they’re talking about writing in tRump’s name in the Georgia runoff.
beb said on November 20, 2020 at 9:51 pm
Esquires’ other political writer suggests that Dems hay have so or really should impeach Trump again since he’s so busy trying to destroy the government. We’d still need 20 Republicans to go along with the 47 Democrats to actually impeach him and that seems unlikely. Still it is something that will stay on his permanent record. The only President to be impeached TWICE!
Also it would sabotage any more plans McConnell has lame-duck fuckery.
susan said on November 20, 2020 at 10:37 pm
Sherri @55, did you read the comments to Manjoo’s piece? I bet they are more than 95% against what he is doing. I hope he reads them, for comprehension. He might learn something and change his mind. Some of the comments are incredibly well-reasoned and knowledgeable. Shame on that selfish guy. And shame on the Fucking NYTimes for publishing it. They should pull it.
Even a local Republican county commissioner here where I live, last night said at a virtual town hall about the local COVID-19 situation, gets it. He said, in response to people not wearing masks, or continuing to gather in groups because FREEDUMB, “It’s not a matter of ‘freedom.’ It’s a matter of ‘choice.’ What I ask you today is how will you choose? Will you choose to take care of yourself only? Will you choose to take care of yourself and your family only? Or will you choose to take care of yourself, your family and our community? That’s your choice. Not your freedom.”
The town hall also included the directors of our Health District; the CEO of our regional hospital; a nephrologist from the hospital who works with end-stage COVID patients suffering from kidney failure, and who is from Argentina, so she spoke her words in English and Spanish. She said she has been with too many dying people who looked like her father, her uncles… The hospital CEO, a physician, said, “Many nurses and some doctors have left in the last weeks, months, because they are exhausted and emotionally spent. The hospital is short 6o nurses. There are no nurses to hire, anywhere. Travelling nurses are scarce. Just so you understand, for instance, in a usual ICU situation it takes one specialized nurse to work with a patient. COVID patients require two specialized ICU nurses. Where are we going to find them? We are almost at capacity. When we reach that limit, then what? Where will we send stroke, heart attack, car accident patients who need that level of care? All other capable hospitals are at their limits, too.”
One of the questions from the media reflected what a lot of people are saying (such as Manjoo): Why should we be so scared all the time? The Health District director replied, “I spoke with Dr. —, who is here helping us. He’s a retired epidemiologist who grew up here, but came back at our request to assist us with his broad knowledge and experience. He’s worked in viral and infectious disease hot spots all over the world, working for the CDC. Ebola. Swine flu. Avian flu. Zika. And so on. He told me, ‘I have never been so frightened as I am now.’ Does that answer your question?”
This public meeting was extremely sobering, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe I should find a recording of it and send it to Farhad Manjoo. Health leaders working in a metropolitan area of about 100,000 working-class people get it. Why doesn’t privileged and sophisticated Manjoo?
[I apologize for this lengthy account, but this shit is real.]
LAMary said on November 20, 2020 at 11:01 pm
Just saw on the news that more than 50% of the people who get tested for covid in South Dakota test positive. The governor there is all about keeping everything open, no masks, no distancing, nothing. The hospitals are overflowing.
Also, in better news, Rick Scott tested positive. He used to be the be the CEO of HCA, probably the biggest hospital company in the country. When Rick was the CEO they were the proud payers of the biggest fine for Medicare fraud ever. 1.7 Billion. The record still stands. Rick gave himself 300 million in stock and 5.1 million severance pay. Yay Rick.
Sherri said on November 20, 2020 at 11:20 pm
Among the comments on Manjoo’s piece was one from the doctor referred to in the story, who most emphatically did not agree with his choice.
Meanwhile, more Republican Senators have tested positive for COVID than have publicly acknowledged Biden’s election. If only we could have a courage pandemic.
Sherri said on November 20, 2020 at 11:31 pm
Farhad Manjoo lives in Santa Clara County. How are things there?
Sherri said on November 21, 2020 at 1:20 am
I asked my daughter what she wanted for Christmas, and she only had one thing on her list. She wants Trump to concede. She’s been a very good girl, always wears her mask, and has only gotten together with friends remotely during the pandemic. I think she deserves this gift, don’t you?
Dexter Friend said on November 21, 2020 at 2:52 am
Greta and another foster are in hew homes. “Ash”, an Aussie Cattle Dog pup finished her fostering period and left for her forever home Friday. Daughter Vanessa does the fostering, as I told about here previously.
It was about 10 days ago the reporters were putting out stories of how the airlines were getting a bad rap for Covid19 air in the cabins; the stories all reported how all air is exchanged every 2 minutes, making the air safer than our homes’air supply. Thursday night, stern warnings from multiple agencies imploring us to please do not fly over Thanksgiving week, for sure, and really, don’t fly any place leisurely until the vaccine arrives.
Then a report on NBC stated many Trump haters will not take the first shot of vaccine until Trump is officially gone. Me? Just give me the chance…I’ll take that first shot like a war hero jumping on a goddam grenade.
In Las Vegas, Lori is indeed home, weak, recuperating, hoping to gain strength and get back to work. You all know the stress and strain nurses are under…I hope she recovers quickly.
Rachel Maddow’s wife, Susan, “almost died” recently of Covid19. Rachel is working her TV gig from home.
JodiP said on November 21, 2020 at 4:50 am
I get so so angry thinking about the priorities of the Republicans right now.
Mark @48: Greta the hounds picture is off the site because she is coming home to us on Wednesday! 10 years ago when we adopted our sweet Cora, we had a panicked reaction when her picture stayed adoption pending.We thought someone swooped in even though we had a meeting set. I called the foster mom trying to sound calm and she gently explained that was because *we* were adopting her!
David C said on November 21, 2020 at 6:24 am
Another great Ed Yong piece in The Atlantic. It’s scary AF.
ROGirl said on November 21, 2020 at 8:14 am
This is worth listening to.
alex said on November 21, 2020 at 10:05 am
Here’s a long read but an interesting one that contains many perspectives on the cultural divide and our broken system. Lot of good food for thought.
Sherri said on November 21, 2020 at 11:30 am
Alex, I started reading that article, and the first thing I encountered was yet another “cultural elites don’t understand real America” blurb. From Wisconsin, no less. Wisconsin has been so heavily gerrymandered in its legislature that it’s almost impossible for Dems to win a majority, even when they win a substantial majority of votes. So for someone to from Wisconsin to talk about the resentment of rural voters not feeling they get their fair share, without also noting their grip on power, is disingenuous.
David C said on November 21, 2020 at 12:48 pm
100% right, Sherri. If life sucks in rural Wisconsin, and in a lot of places it does, it’s because they vote for it to suck. Wisconsin is pretty much a 50-50 state. The Rs were hoping for a supermajority in both the Assembly and the Senate. They didn’t get it but the Senate is 19 Rs and 14 Ds and the Assembly is 63/36. With this reapportionment the Lege will gerrymander the shit out of it, Governor Evers will veto it, and it will to to the 5/4 Supreme Court where they’ll gerrymander the shit out of it. I just don’t care about their whining.
beb said on November 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm
It’s hard for big city reporters to understand Trump suppporters because they are batshit crazy. But also they never mention how uninformed they are and how filled they are with misinformation because all they watch is Fox News. Reporters are hesitant to report how much damage Fox News does because they see it as one of their own.
Sherri said on November 21, 2020 at 1:06 pm
Rural resentment is real, it’s true, but it’s not new, either. I grew up in rural America, and rural resentment was a thing then too. Rural resentment is why the House of Representatives was capped at 435 in 1929 after redistricting didn’t happen after the 1920 census.
The thing is, there are rural elites, too, but they don’t get talked about. They’re the rural landowners who are invested in making sure that rural areas don’t change, because when rural areas change, more people come in, and when more people come in, those landowners lose power. Agriculture in this country has always been built on having labor that has no power.
Urban elites, or urban non-elites, are not, and have never been the problem. They’re just the easy Other to scapegoat.
alex said on November 21, 2020 at 2:07 pm
I didn’t say I agreed with all of the perspectives shared there.
However, I must interject here that I live in a gerrymandered red state with a long-time GOP legislative supermajority, and even though the rural folk hold all the power, they’re still as resentful as all fuck that this country elected a black president and just now ousted their racist president, that popular culture and media embrace multiculturalism and science and don’t glorify white supremacism and pigheaded ignorance. And their resentments have been sparked by conservative media and demagogic politicians who demonize the cultural elite just as they do Antifa and socialism, gaseous bogeymen all.
Sherri said on November 21, 2020 at 4:50 pm
Absolutely, rural people are resentful. But it’s not because the Democratic Party ignored them. Rural people were resentful when they were Democrats. They have always held disproportionate power, yet felt like they had no power, because, as I said above, most of them don’t have much power.
Rural areas have disproportionate power, but power in rural areas tends to be held closely by the big fish in those small ponds. Outsiders are viewed with suspicion, and you can live there 30 years and be an outsider, because no one knows who your people are.
David C said on November 21, 2020 at 6:06 pm
Sherri, I think you were the first one to tell us about Dr. Sarah Taber. You two are certainly on the same wavelength on rural America and you are both correct. I grew up in the country and you knew the people who were building their little fiefdoms. In our area, it was the implement dealer who sold the local farmers new equipment they couldn’t really afford with their farms as collateral. He ended up the largest landowner in the area. Also since he held so much land and most farmers rent land to grow forage for the larger herds they were pushed into buying because get big or get out he raised rents on the land and pushed some more farmers into bankruptcy. None of the farmers seemed to resent the implement dealer. They just blamed themselves and/or the government. Strange little self-slavery system they’ve built.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 21, 2020 at 6:11 pm
I always forget to check this out each Friday, but got to yesterday’s this afternoon while I was cooking. Hat tip to the Proprietress, who gets off some good ones in heavy traffic here (I favor “airhorn dog whistles” myself):
by way of:
Suzanne said on November 21, 2020 at 6:18 pm
Yes, to what has been said above about rural people. I have lived in a rural community for over 30 years and yes, we are still outsiders. Yes, the big fish of the community run things. It is a very tiered society almost similar to a caste system. They usually refer to anything over 50,000 people as the big city & are mistrustful of the people there. Many of them are hard working and intelligent but have incredibly poor people skills, I think because of the lack of interaction with outsiders and because they don’t think it important. I work in an office and I see it all the time. No pleasantries exchanged, no polite chatter, no introducing themselves, just walk in the door & get right to the point of the visit “Is so & so here?” or “I got a letter from your company.”
Regarding this discussion, this is the most informative 2 minutes you will listen to all day:
Jakash said on November 21, 2020 at 9:59 pm
“A federal judge has dismissed President Trump’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the election he lost in PA. The decision is pretty brutal. He sums up Trump’s case as ‘strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.'”
The Trump campaign lawyers respond to the decision, letting us in on more of their brilliant strategery:
“Today’s decision turns out to help us in our strategy to get expeditiously to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Witty analysis from a Reuters criminal justice reporter:
“This is a victory in the sense that spilling food on yourself helps your strategy of having to do laundry sooner.”
beb said on November 22, 2020 at 1:58 am
I think that whole point was to get a case to the Supreme Court where the newly appointed justice could make some shambleicious argument that the vote was illegal and Trump must be awarded a second term.
Sherri said on November 22, 2020 at 2:12 am
The idiot right wing nut who made it through the primary against Inslee here still won’t concede despite losing by over half a million votes, and is attacking the Republican Secretary of State for “pushing this vote-by-mail crap” that we’ve been using successfully here for years.
Deborah said on November 22, 2020 at 8:42 am
Suzanne, I finally listened to that podcast you linked to up-thread about containing the opposition instead of changing their minds because they’re too far gone for that. I agree but the big question is how to contain it. I think before it’s over there will be violence, too many guns and too much hatred for there not to be, I just hope it’s not on a massive scale.
We’re off on our roadtrip momentarily. I’m just waiting for my husband to get going, as I was up at the crack of dawn as usual because of stress.
Mark zp said on November 22, 2020 at 12:08 pm
And yet another Georgia Secretary of State official receives threats and has to have police protection around his home.
alex said on November 22, 2020 at 12:36 pm
And the Michigan officials who met with Trump Friday (and celebrated with an $800 bottle of Dom Perignon at the Trump Hotel afterward) but swore up and down that they wouldn’t interfere with Michigan’s election results? Now one of them’s on Fox claiming that Michigan may face a constitutional crisis that will compel the legislature to intervene.
Mark P said on November 22, 2020 at 12:47 pm
It’s hard to believe Republican officials in Georgia could be more ethical than ones in Michigan.
David C said on November 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm
The Michigan Republicans are just blowing smoke up tRump’s ass. https://twitter.com/SCLiedel/status/1330548138235600902
LAMary said on November 22, 2020 at 2:44 pm
The “running out the clock” tactic is beyond harmful while the pandemic is raging. And I blame a lot of the raging on the irresponsible rhetoric from trump. Trump wasting his time and everyone else’s time on a marathon temper tantrum, attempting to destroy the country’s faith in the election process, and raising his usual tactic of making everything about him to a new level is criminal. That’s not a strong enough word. I need a word that describes the anger and frustration I feel and the anxiety I have about my countrymen who believe this maniac.
susan said on November 22, 2020 at 3:19 pm
I saw the perfect description/literary reference to FatNixon:
Suzanne said on November 22, 2020 at 3:46 pm
Trump is doing what he has always done when he wants to weasel out of consequences for illegal or immoral behavior; take people to court, obstruct, delay, obstruct, delay until those opposing him run out of money or simply wear out. It’s galling that so many Republicans are willing to go along with it. Oh sure, a few have spoken out, but realistically, does anybody think that the likes of Ben Sasse would vote to expel Trump from the White House?
Sherri said on November 22, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Given that they already had the opportunity to vote to expel him from the WH, and have demonstrated little to indicate any change since, I think we know the answer to that question.
Mark P said on November 22, 2020 at 6:20 pm
Trump has filed for a second recount in Georgia, which is paid for by taxpayers. His dumbass attorneys issued a statement saying the recount will be a sham and unless there is signature matching. F’ing idiots. There are no signatures associated with ballots. That’s what humans call a secret ballot. The envelope the absentee ballots were delivered in had signatures, but once they were opened and removed, the outer envelopes are discarded. F’ing idiots. I wish the state would say, in that case, we won’t do the recount, you F’ing idiots, so the Trump attorneys would have to go to court and make that statement.
Trump has all the best people.
Sherri said on November 22, 2020 at 6:52 pm
Classic FUD strategy. (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt)
When you don’t care whether you leave anything standing at the end, you’re free to create unimaginable chaos.
diane said on November 22, 2020 at 8:03 pm
Sherri, that is the most accurate and succinct description of what is going on that I have seen.